It seems that each time I write a new article, it is about how tourism rules are changing. Just about 1 year ago, the government approved a change in the SDF (sustainable development fee) from $65/day, including several long term incentives, to $200/day with no incentives. This change resulted in prices of the snowman trek for a single person reaching as hight as $20,000!
We were hopeful that there would be adjustment made to the SDF fee and it finally arrived just this week. The government has now approved a set of incentive packages for guests who want to stay longer in Bhutan to allow them to pay for some nights and then receive other nights without any additional costs.
The article in the Kuensel newspaper indicates that we now have packages which have been labeled as 4+4, 7+7, and 12+18 allow the guests to pay for 4 nights then receive the next 4 nights with out having to pay for the SDF. This effectively reduces the SDF to $100/day to as low as $80/day for guests staying an entire month (i.e. if you are doing the snowman trek). The new package incentives are approved starting from now until the end of 2024 but we are hopeful that the rates will stay permanently.
In the years before the COVID pandemic we were usually suggesting that guests stay for 5-nights/6-days as a minimum but now 8-nights/9-days seems like a much better option. Such an itinerary would include nights in Thimphu, a trip to Punakha, the Phobjika Valley, and of course Taksang. The SDF fee would be $800/person which if half of the rate it would have been without these incentive packages.
If you are interested in organizing a tour to Bhutan, please contact us by email. The prices on the pages might be still out of date until we have the chance to recompute everything again.